Today, Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL whom I wrote about in The New Yorker last week, posthumously published his second book, “American Gun.” His first book,
“American Sniper,” came out in January, 2012, and has been on the Times best-seller list ever since. Bradley Cooper purchased the film rights. In light of all this attention, Peter Hubbard, Kyle’s editor at HarperCollins, told me, “We wanted to figure out something else to do.”
Hubbard said that Kyle was not interested in writing another memoir or going “back over his combat record.” Last spring, Kyle proposed writing a book about gun culture in America. Hubbard thought they were onto something. They settled on a book about ten guns, each of them formative in American history; Kyle, one of the most lethal snipers in military history, would reflect on them. Said Hubbard, “Who else would you want to have telling you how to fire a Flintlock?”
In February, Kyle and a friend were murdered at a gun range southwest of Dallas. Kyle had taken a former Marine, Eddie Ray Routh, to the range when Routh, who, according to his parents, suffered from mental illness and had received a diagnosis post-traumatic stress disorder, in 2011, turned his pistol on both men.
Post Continues: Chris Kyle’s Wife Speaks for His Book and for Guns : The New Yorker.